3D printer arrival and build

Yes, this means that after a very long wait (18 months from order to delivery), the 3D printer ordered through crowdfunding (Kickstarter) has finally arrived.

Photo 8-10-2014 11 42 09The unpack can then begin

Photo 8-10-2014 11 42 38 Photo 8-10-2014 11 43 07 Photo 8-10-2014 11 43 23 Photo 8-10-2014 11 44 34Next, the items were removed and laid out, ready for assembly.

Photo 8-10-2014 11 53 48And then assembly begins.  Taken in short bites (as time permits), it will be a few days before testing can begin.

Photo 8-10-2014 17 50 44


Dual extruder unit

Photo 8-10-2014 17 50 47 Photo 8-10-2014 17 50 58 Photo 8-10-2014 17 51 21Extrusion nozzle, with heater and thermister.


Coming together pretty easily (despite the instruction manual!).

And finally, the rolls of filament (both ABS and PLA) ready to be turned into something else.Photo 8-10-2014 17 51 30

Kickstarter as a retail outlet?

It is a bit weird (and probably not a particularly appropriate use), but some are starting to use Kickstarter.com as a way to sell their woodwork creations.

For example, this Kickstarter from someone who has been woodworking for about a year, with some segmented turnings.  On the other hand, in doing this, he has already made more money from his woodworking creations in 30 days than I have in over 10 years!

main-image-k2 ??????????

If you haven’t seen Kickstarter before, it is an interesting crowd-funding website, worth a look.

Retro Controller revisited

Back in April, I wrote about this coffee table that is also a video game controller.

Nintendo Coffee Table Controller

Nintendo Coffee Table Controller

At the time, I thought the woodworking looked pretty cool, but also achievable.  The electronics to make it work would be beyond most of us to bother with (unless you took a real controller apart and stole the circuit board out of it, but even that poses some problems).

However as it happens, I have stumbled across the perfect solution through another website that I frequent, called Kickstarter.com

Kickstarter is a funding website to give inventors a revenue source to get their projects off the ground, and/or into production.  The inventor writes a proposal then seeks funding for that proposal from anyone who reads Kickstarter.  Donations can be as little as $1, right up to $thousands, but the donations come with a reward.  It could be goodwill, or it could be to fund the purchase of prototypes or first production runs of the item.

One of the projects I funded was called MaKey Makey.

MaKey MaKey

MaKey MaKey

To quote from their site:

MaKey MaKey is a printed circuit board with an ATMega32u4 microcontroller running Arduino Leonardo firmware. It uses the Human Interface Device (HID) protocol to communicate with your computer, and it can send keypresses, mouse clicks, and mouse movements. For sensing closed switches on the digital input pins, we use high resistance switching to make it so you can close a switch even through materials like your skin, leaves, and play-doh.

Doesn’t matter how it does it, but the simplest way to look at it is a USB input device for the computer.  By connecting alligator clips to the board, and to a contact device, you can turn pretty much anything into a computer controller.

Pretty much anything.  Even a banana.  A bunch of bananas can become a piano.

The kit can work with play doh switches, even by drawing a controller on paper with a graphite pencil.

PacMan Controller

PacMan Controller

Given how simple it is to turn so many devices into controllers, the MaKey MaKey is dead easy to incorporate into other items, such as the Nintendo retro controller coffee table.

So if you were interested in creating something like that, and didn’t know how to work out the computer interface, this is the solution!

Want to create a keyboard to reenact Tom Hanks in “Big”?



(Or reenact Homer Simpsons’ reenactment!)

I got the Kickstarter kit with a vague idea that it may be used to create a proximity sensor for the tablesaw or similar.  It could also be used to create a controller for the computer to be able to remotely start and stop the computer recording for podcasting.  There are so many items it could be built into.

I’ll leave it to your imagination!

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